One of the hardest aspects of Greek genealogy is reading and translating the old Greek records. It’s not only the illegible handwriting of past centuries and the use of the “katharevousa” (a compromise between ancient Greek and the modern vernacular form of the Greek language),  but also the use of many words which are hard to translate or are not in use any more. These words can be either special administrational terms, or of ancient Greek, or even Turkish, origin.

Based on Greek Ancestry’s research experience, this dictionary was created to help English-speaking researchers translate and understand basic lines of an old Greek document. To form this dictionary we used a wide variety of 19th century documents (such as municipal registers, school & church records, voter lists etc.) from all around Greece. This way, we managed to create a wide database, which, expanding geographically and socially, wishes to cover the most crucial translational needs of a Greek genealogist.

This dictionary consists of two parts. The first part includes six introductory tables to familiarize the reader with the letters of the Greek alphabet, the Greek numbers and units of time. The second and main part includes three more tables, with: 1) basic vocabulary found in all types of records, 2) words seen in school records (a type of record that includes special vocabulary), and 3) a list of the most common professions and occupations found in Greek records.

To access the Dictionary’s contents, you need to be a member of the Greek Genealogy Guide.

How to search

Greek Ancestry hosts a wide variety of searchable databases of records from regions all over Greece. Amateur or professional, you’ll find searching through Greek Ancestry very easy! 

To search through Greek Ancestry, follow these simple steps:

1. First, go to the ‘Search’ page.

2. Find and click on the area you are interested in. Maps are included to further help you find your way through.You now have access to the corresponding searchable database. You are ready to search, using the search engine.

3. You can search by surname, village/town or Record ID, both in English and Greek! Simply type a name or place in the “Search” field. You can also search by using the any group of letters of a surname or place, e.g. to find “Papadopoulos” you may search by “Papa”, “ado” or “poulos”. Then, click on the ‘SEARCH‘ button. If you are not sure how to spell Greek names correctly, you can ask us for free, by filling out this form.

4. A list of results will be displayed. Scroll down and click “load more” to get all the results available. You can sort the results alphabetically by given name, surname, record id, village/town, municipality or region, as you like.

5. Did you find something of interest? Write down the relevant Record IDs and order the records to receive even more information! 

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